Top 10 writers’ favourite haunts

6: Jack Kerouac – Vesuvio Café, San Francisco 

This colourful bar on Columbus Avenue in San Francisco’s North Beach was a favourite drinking den of Beat writer Jack Kerouac and his buddies Neal Cassady – who served as the inspiration for Kerouac’s antihero Dean Moriarty in his era defining 1957 novel On the Road – and Beat poet Allen Ginsburg, along with gadabout Dylan Thomas.

Designed by Italian architect Italo Zanolini, the bar, which is open every day of the year, was founded in 1948 by Henri Lenoir a stone’s throw from the famous City Lights bookstore. Located just off Jack Kerouac Alley, named in honour of the author in 1988, Kerouac was a Vesuvio regular and was said to have once missed an important meeting with American writer Henry Miller after getting drunk at the bar. It remains a popular hangout for San Francisco’s hippy contingent and bohemian bookworms.

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